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Wednesday, 28 March 2018

3D Printed 1:200 French 1940 Army for Rommel

Well after another spell of foreign business travel and my daughter moving into her first house, I've finally found time to write something for the blog.

I set myself the challenge to use my 3D printer to produce two entire armies for Rommel in 1:200 scale.

I have always had an interest in the tank battles of 1940 as the French Army & the BEF tried to stem the German advances, so I decided this would be my target.

Using (Primarily) the .stl files created by Marco Bergman (to be found on Thingiverse, Yeggi etc.) I set about printing off the vehicles I needed (see tables below)

Division Cuirassée de Reserve (DCR)
·         4 Tank Battalions (Each 1 x Char B1 + 1 x H39) 22 pts
·         1 Battalion Dragoon (3 x Mechanised Infantry bases) 7 pts
·         2 Battalions Artillery (1 x 105mm & 1 x 75mm Towed Guns with Lorrainne Carriers) 5 pts
·         Total points = 34

Division Légère Mécanique (DLM)
·         3 Battalions Medium Tanks (Each 2 x S35 Somua) 15 pts
·         3 Battalions Light Tanks (Each 2 x H39) 15 pts
·         3 Battalions Dragoon (Each 3 x Mechanised Infantry bases) 21 pts
·         2 Battalions Artillery (1 x 105mm & 1 x 75mm Towed Guns with Lorrainne Carriers) 5 pts
·         Total points = 56
Some of the models had been created in 1:100 (15mm) scale, so were reduced within the Cura Software. I tried to maximise the printing bed area by creating multiple prints in one go. At first I tried this with a raft to aid adherence, but actually found this made things worse. The raft warped and peeled away from the masking tape. I now dispense with the raft and print direct to the masking tape (with Pritt Stick Glue) and all seems to work fine.
 As well as AFVs I decided to try my hand at printing Infantry & Artillery!
 I found a generic infantryman on Tinkercad created at 15mm and reduced him to 10mm high. I then combined 5 of these figures on a 28x28mm square base.  These were firstly printed 6 at once with supporting Renault UE carriers + Trailers. 
I tried incorporating support material (to ensure rifle barrels printed) but at this scale this proved impossible to remove without breaking the figure’s legs.
I next tried printing them without support and all was fine. Ok you cannot see a rifle but at this scale I’m not going to worry. The stringing was removed using a heated craft knife blade.
The units will all be based on mdf 30x40mm in size, with the stats along the bottom edge. So when adding sand to the base with PVA glue I left a 10mm strip behind each AFV. 
First result are looking OK. I worked things out that at current Skytrex Action 200 rates, this army would have set me back over £70. The cost in PLA must be a couple of pounds at the very most, but the time taken was probably near to 40 hours!!!
And here they are with their bases flocked and Rommel Stats added. The stats were simply created in PowerPoint - using the Drawing Tools, Format function to create boxes of the desired dimensions. Then printed out and gloss laminated. Final each was cut out carefully with scissors and attached to the base using double sided tape. I think they look pretty good!

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

15mm Tank 3D Printing Frenzy

I've been travelling on business for two weeks and have had little opportunity for modelling or blogging :-(

However when I've been able to grab some time I have been continuing to experiment with my 3D printer.

Firstly I completed my Rommel BUA in 2mm scale. The print was mounted on a 60x60mm mdf laser cut base and then painted, varnished etc. I'm very pleased with this and will certainly print a couple more.

I have expanded my Team Yankee 15mm British forces and have so far completed;-

  • 2 x Chieftain MBTs
  • 5 x FV432 APCs
  • 1 x Striker ATGW
  • 1 x Spartan APC
To match these I've commenced building up my Soviet forces and have printed;-
  • 2 x BTR60PBs
  • 1 x BMP with turrets for both the MkI & II options
In addition I have been experimenting with some 1:200 early war French vehicles to use with Sam Mustafa's Rommel Rules. These can be printed up to 8 at a time with my small printer so work out very economically viable.

Altogether....living the dream!